Breaking 2019 World Cup format news

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Somewhere, in a dark, neglected, cobweb-strewn corner of the Cricinfo homepage, an article of ours was briefly accessible. You may have missed it because Mark Nicholas was hogging all the prime real e-state.

The article in question is about the format of the World Cup – same as all cricket articles these days. However, our article differs from all of the others in one crucial way. It is woven together out of our own lies rather than merely being pieced together using the lies of others. This is that article.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. KC, I assume none of the commenters on Cricinfo, even those that seem to understand that your piece is sarcastic, follow this website. Otherwise who would address you as Alex! Its a travesty!

    1. I cannot bring myself to believe that, in physical reality, KC, “Alex” and the face on All Out Cricket all come from the same place.

  2. What I’m about to share with you is entirely unrelated to this post, the article to which this post refers, or indeed cricket in general. It is probably best to consider it to be spam.

    However, it does feature perhaps the least hip-hop hip-hop song ever recorded by an Australian about his mum, which I feel offers a valuable insight into the differing sporting aspirations of our two nations. Ignore the actual video, which is about coffee.

  3. My first look this morning and this is the Cricinco headline: “West Indies bat, Kemar Roach back”.

    Has Kemar Roach returned? Or does he have ankylosing spondylitis or something of that kind?

    Perhaps Kemar will tweet about it; then we’ll know for sure.

    I love the smell of computer heat-sink-grease in the morning.

  4. What’s happened to the Indian side in the field? Suddenly they can both field and bowl, and it’s terrifying me.

  5. The World Cup should be a competition between the top teams to determine the top-most. The Associates should be encouraged to play more with teams visiting them often, but this ain’t the stage. Much as I’d love Afghanistan to do well, they (or Ireland, or Scotland, or UAE) don’t really belong here. I cannot challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title just because I know how to play chess.

    PS: This may or may not have anything to do with your piece, which I only skimmed.

    1. Hey, Ireland beat the Windies. That with England nicking two of their top one-day players. Give them some credit.

    2. Team Ireland have successfully gone toe-to-toe with in their 3 World Cups:

      Pakistan, Zimbabwe (tied) and Bangladesh (2007)

      England (2011)

      West Indies (2015)

      Kenya were semi-finalists in 2003 and Sri Lanka won the World Cup within 15 years of playing the 1st test match.

      On top of that Netherlands beat England twice in World T20s and ran them close at the 2011 World Cup.

      The associates may not be playing to the top of their abilities but that is wholly because the top teams refuse to play them, which stunts their development. They have proven down the years that they belong at the World Cup.

    3. I wholeheartedly agree that the top teams’ refusal to play the Associates on a regular basis stunts their development. The ICC should really do something about that, instead of constantly pitting the big 3 against each other to make more money.

    4. Since the ICC has no means to force teams to play associates outside the WC – it’s just not going to happen, for commercial reasons – then I think it’s best for them to have to play the associates at the WC. Of course they might choose not to play the associates there either, but if that happens again then Kenya get to the semis once more…

      I am 99% sure that playing in the WC is better publicity for the associates back home than an A-tour by Sri Lanka would be.

    5. The top-most team is determined by the running rankings.

      The World Cup should be a competition that allows the cream to rise to the top but also allows for upsets and smaller teams to progress.

      The Champions Trophy (does that still exist?) is for the people who don’t want the smaller teams to have a game.

      The format should be 16 teams, 4 groups of 4. 8 team progress, QFs, SFs, Final. Exactly like the football European Championship.

      Have qualifying tournaments from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania which the proper teams have to play in, forcing them to give the Associates matches.

      Play 2 matches a day during the group stages. One a day for the knockouts.

    6. @Bailout: Fair point, but publicity isn’t going to improve the Associates as cricket-playing nations. Consistent top-level encounter is what is needed. But, as you point out, the ICC is depressingly money-minded.

      @daneel: That’s interesting. What really is the point of a World Cup? If the top team can be decided by ranking alone, we can do away with both the World Cup and the Champions Trophy or whatever. My worry is that there is a certain meaning/importance to the World Cup, and it is fast going the IPL route. Too many mismatched competitions, too many sixes and fours, too many 400+ runs scored….We can romanticize all we want about the potential upsets (and yes, there are a couple of those) and the underdogs, but the fact remains that none of them is going to go to the semis and are there as fodder for the Warners and the Maxwells. And no one’s going to talk about the Associates (including the cricinfo writers who go on about them) till the next World Cup comes by. The ICC needs to plan out what the future of these cricketing nations is going to be, really. We all know that’s not going to happen.

    7. ‘we can do away with both the World Cup and the Champions Trophy or whatever.”


      My proposed system would have more associates – 6 instead of 4, but they’d only have 20 games guaranteed instead of 22 in this one (I think).

      More importantly, it’d be done in a month. The biggest problem with the World Cup is that it takes too goddamn long.

      England have lost 3 of their first 4 games, all those defeats were utter shellackings, and yet somehow they still have a route to the QFs. It’s ludicrous. They are demonstrably not good enough, they should be home.

    8. As for things that are wrong with this World Cup: it’s too long, there’s not enough games each day, the groups are too big, two new balls, fielding restrictions, big bats, flat pitches, run fests, tv scoreboard, the countdown before each game, England, DRS, the West Indies, the non-selection of James Tredwell and Craig Young.

      I’m sure I’ve missed something.

    9. Dissenter- you missed the failure of administrators to check DB de Villiers for traces or “evil alien overlord superbeing” in his DNA.

    10. Why is the world cup only about teams that win? Shouldn’t a world gathering be about fellowship, sharing culture and peaceful endeavor? Once every four years, people can’t be nice? Just enjoy the game, it doesn’t matter if your team dominates everyone else or not. Just play, folks. That’s the spirit.

  6. I prefer a shorter World Cup.
    I think more Associates should participate.
    They should also get more opportunities to play test nations.
    The tour should include a chance to participate in domestic leagues.

    Combined all these ideas last night to propose a 28/16 team event:

  7. Just give Ireland and Afghanistan full-member status already. Their teams are home-grown, they have decent followings (especially Afghanistan), and they’re big enough countries to conceivably maintain a decent talent pool. That way the ICC can actually mandate that teams play them. It’d also mean that Bangladesh and Zimbabwe can have some actual competition besides each other. The only downside would be that we’d get less of Australia/England/India playing each other.

    Wait. That’s not a downside.

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